COLUMBIA, S.C. — Poignant. Thoughtful. Angry. Racist. The thousands of emails and letters sent to Gov. Nikki Haley as lawmakers debated removing the Confederate flag outside the South Carolina Statehouse reflect all sorts of emotions. Haley's office released this correspondence Wednesday as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. Here is a very small sample, as written:
"You have spit in the faces of every Yankee & Rebel who died in that use less war nobody won nobody lost . . . my grandmother would turn you over her knees and paddle your bottom."
David from Lindale, Texas
"First, I am a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Many of my ancestors served in the Southern Confederacy . . . For many years I have been a supporter of keeping the flag in place on statehouse ground. However, the murder of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney along with 8 other of my Christian Brothers and Sisters changed my heart . . . My Christian duty requires me to call for the removal of the Confederate Battle flag from statehouse grounds."
Randolph from Myrtle Beach, S.C.
"So if Dylann Storm Roof had posed with the Nazi flag would you go after the country of Germany." Paul from Glendale, Arizona
"I'm still trying to figure out how that mean old flag talked that man into killing people."
James from Warrior, Ala.
"As a female and a Southerner, you are positioned to be a national leader. You are willing to take action when many waffle, especially male politicians. While I am not of your party affiliation, I certainly would vote for a person who truly leads." Emmett from Ocala
"I will give up my confederate flag when all the Martin Luther Kings roads and steets signs are removed." Gloria from Blairsville, Ga.